Cassie Gholston, Director of Marketing,
(512) 232-5301

Actor, Producer and Academy Award–winning Director Visits Theatre and Dance

Actor, Producer and Academy Award–winning Director, Kevin Costner delighted an audience of students, faculty and staff Wednesday afternoon in the Oscar G. Brockett Theatre.

In this special event exclusive to members of the Department of Theatre and Dance community, Costner shared memories of remarkable triumphs and a career in entertainment spanning over 25 years. Following Costner's brief presentation of stories, live film examples and more, students had the unique opportunity to ask for and receive advice directly from the famed celebrity.

Junior, Jessica Webb was glad to hear Costner reinforce the skills she practices. She explained, "What struck me was how much he emphasized being a prepared actor... people think so much of what we do is about "the look" and I appreciate that he recognizes that it takes more than that."

Seniors, Molly Searcy and Amber Loftis were especially touched by Costner's visit. Molly explained, "He said, 'being an actor is something that lives in you, we shouldn't be defined by it'..., that was impactful, it hit me." Amber shared a similar experience, explaining, "The whole time, I felt we were all connected in that space." Molly finished by saying, "I was excited to hear he was so such a soulful person."

Born in Lynwood, California, Kevin Costner enrolled in California State University, Fullerton to earn a degree in business until an off–campus open audition notice piqued his interest in acting. Though he did not receive a role, the audition experience prompted Costner to attend acting classes in addition to his business studies. Upon graduation, Costner initially accepted a marketing position until he was urged to pursue an acting career by Richard Burton during a chance meeting on a flight from Mexico.

Three years of a wide variety of jobs and cattle call auditions led Costner to some of his first screen roles before landing his first breakout role as "Jake" in 1985's Silverado. Leading roles were soon to follow when he starred in The Untouchables, Bull Durham and Field of Dreams in 1987, 1988 and 1989 respectively.

1990's Dances with Wolves marks a great success for Costner who directed and starred in the film while also serving as a producer. The epic was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won seven, including Best Picture and Best Achievement in Direction. Costner continued to star in blockbuster hits like Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, JFK, The Bodyguard, Wyatt Earp, Water World and Tin Cup through the 1990's leading to his most recent film roles in Rumor Has It..., Mr. Brooks, Swing Vote, and the just wrapped production, The New Daughter. In addition to his film career, Costner and his band, Modern West, released a country album in November 2008.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009